CAPE TOWN - Roland Putsche’s attitude to his own performances is the perfect example of the fantastic team ethic at the heart of Cape Town City.
The 26-year-old Austrian was awarded the man of the match in the MTN8 quarter-final win over Polokwane City two weeks ago for another trademark display of tireless industry and unselfish toil in the Cape side’s midfield. Last Friday, though, in the 1-0 victory against Wits, Putsche wasn’t all that satisfied with his contribution - and he’s hoping to elevate things again this week.
The Cape club is in action in the league on Wednesday night when they host Platinum Stars at Cape Town Stadium (7.30pm kickoff). And, on Sunday, they have another date with Wits, this time in the first leg of the MTN8 semi-finals.
The philosophy at City is always team first, which is why individuals in the squad are always so determined to do well. They believe that, when everyone makes a contribution, it benefits the whole and that, in turn, creates the platform for game-winning team performances. Because of this, Putsche wasn’t entirely happy with what he produced against Wits and he’s determined to regain the standard he showed against Polokwane two weeks ago.
Putsche, by his own admission, is his own worst critic. The affable City hard man, from Klagenfurt in Austria, sets high standards for himself and admits that he is not a happy chappy after a disappointing performance. So, even though City have won their two opening games of the new PSL season, for Putsche, in his critical assessment of his own performances, it was one plus and one minus.
“You could say it has been two games and two different performances from me,” said Putsche. “I wasn’t happy with my game against Wits at all But, to be honest, it wasn’t an easy game. I want to be consistent this season and that means I have to perform at a high level week after week.
"I always analyse my performances very critically - and even more so when I play well, because then it’s easier to look back at the game and to see where your weaknesses are.”
Putsche has been a revelation since signing for City in June last year. While he hadn’t come to Cape Town with the intention of playing professional football - the idea was to travel and experience something different while working at the Young Bafana Soccer Academy in Somerset West - but things changed dramatically when he impressed the Cape club during a trial and was signed on the spot.
The Austrian has, over the last year, endeared himself to the football public with some excellent performances in the City midfield. In typical European football fashion, his work ethic, technical ability and tactical discipline provide the perfect foil for the African flair of players like Lebogang Manyama and Co.
“It has been a good start to the season so far,” said Putche. “We got the two wins and we were also able to see where we need to improve as a team.
“But I think, especially in the game against Wits, we again showed what great character and spirit there is in this team. It was a difficult game and obviously not our best day, but every single player was fighting for 90 minutes to make the best of it. Let’s be honest, there won’t be a lot of teams who will come home with three points from an away game against Wits.”
Now, with two tough outings against Platinum and Wits looming large this week, City and Putsche are geared to maintain the momentum of their great start.
“Platinum Stars will be a totally different team to face this week,” said the Austrian. “We are at home, and it will certainly (be) on a far better pitch than what we played on against Wits on Friday. Most importantly, we want to show opposing teams that it’s always a mission to come to the Cape and play against us in our ‘living room’.
“As for Wits on Sunday, we will focus on that after the Platinum game, but I expect that the Cup game will be different to the league game we won on Friday.”
Putsche is definitely looking forward to the upcoming two games, as he readily admits: “These are actually my favourite weeks, when the games come so soon after each other.”